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259 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram UN837 NEW YORK, 29 November 946, 12.54 a.m.


Assembly 279.

1. The main debate on Indians in South Africa concluded today but
the joint Committee adjourned without taking vote.

2. The United Kingdom and Swedish proposals were replaced by
following joint United States, United Kingdom and Swedish proposal
to which South Africa subsequently adhered. Begins.

The General Assembly, having taken note of the application made by
the Government of India regarding the treatment of Indians in the
Union of South Africa and having considered the matter, is of
opinion that, since the jurisdiction of the organisation to deal
with the matter is denied, and since the questions involved are
consequently of a legal as well as of a factual nature, a decision
based on authoritatively declared juridical foundations is the one
most likely to promote realization of these purposes of the
Charter to the fulfilment of which all members of the organisation
are pledged as well as to secure a lasting and mutually acceptable
solution of the complaints which have been made.

The Assembly therefore resolves that . . . the International Court
of Justice is requested to give an advisory opinion on the
question whether the matters referred to in the Indian application
are under Article 2, paragraph 7, of the Charter, essentially
within the domestic jurisdiction of the Union. Ends.

3. China proposed the following amendment. Begins.

Whether a small sub-committee, including the Delegation for India
and the Union of South Africa, be appointed by the Committee to
study the various proposals before the Committee, and to submit a
draft resolution suggesting a basis for resumption of negotiations
by the two parties concerned for a satisfactory settlement of the
case. Ends.

4. Australia supported China. Later, on suggestion of Colombia,
China accepted new text excluding references to India and South
Africa this leaving function of proposed sub-committee solely to
suggest a draft resolution looking to settlement of case. One
factor which influenced our support of China was prospect that
none of the present resolutions will obtain more than a bare
majority thus leading to further contest on racialism in Assembly
where two thirds majority is necessary.

[AA:A1838/2, 852/10/2, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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